Bringing back the beat: Birdsboro girl saved through AED program

News photos by Emily Thiel Skylar Livinghouse hugs the officers at the Birdsboro Council presentation.
News photos by Emily Thiel Mayor Joseph Peterson (right) honors the officers during the Monday, June 9 meeting, for using an AED to save the life of 15-year-old Birdsboro resident Skylar Livinghouse.

One doctor was able to save the life of 15-year-old Birdsboro resident Skylar Livinghouse without ever meeting her.

When Livinghouse was found in bed unconscious, not breathing and without a pulse on May 10 of this year, it was Dr. Michael Koslow’s idea that saved her life. Reading Hospital Chief of Cardiology Michael Koslow, MD initiated placement of an automated external defibrillator in “approximately 300” police vehicles in the county, through a program he started three and a half years ago.

It is only because the police car that arrived first on scene was equipped with the proper equipment that Livinghouse is about to enjoy another day. After two shocks, chest compressions and rescue breaths, it was the third additional shock that brought the young girl’s heart to beat once again. Thanks to the response and proper training of Sgt. Seth C. Riegel, Off. Craig S. Reinhart, Off. David L. Seidel and Off. Adam S. Borz, they were able to revive the young girl.

Advertisement

Birdsboro Mayor Joseph Peterson honored Dr. Koslow and the officers at the Borough Council’s Monday, June 9 meeting, where Livinghouse and her family came to show their appreciation.

Koslow surveyed every police chief on a county wide basis to determine “if there was even a need” for an AED in every car. Koslow met with Police Chief Ted Roth to research.

“We both realized the number of police cars in Berks County with defibrillators was very small but the number of times that police were first on scene was actually a large majority of the time,” Koslow said.

The program launched over three years ago, with results that are the difference between life and death for one young Birdsboro resident.

“We never imagined… it would be a 15-year-old,” Koslow said. “It’s hard to talk about this program...and not realize the power of the program.”

He first met Livinghouse at the meeting, where she thanked Koslow and the officers. Roth has since nominated the officers for the Lodge #71’s Life Saving Award.

About the Author

Emily Thiel

Emily Thiel is the editor of The Southern Berks News and is the Community Engagement Editor for Berks-Mont Newspapers. Emily joined Berks-Mont in March 2013. She graduated from Kutztown University in 2011 with a degree in English with a concentration in Cultural and Media Studies. Emily is a native of Allentown, Pa. Reach the author at ethiel@berksmontnews.com or follow Emily on Twitter: @sthrnberksnews.